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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A commercial building with mostly medical equipment has been having numerous voltage spikes. They have lost or had damage to several pieces of equipment.

Would it be better to provide a surge suppressor at the panel(s) or maybe a UPS with brown out and blackout protection?

Not sure if the affected equipment is from the same panel or not. I suppose if there is a main switch board/panel it would be better to put the protection there. But a UPS would have to be huge to protect everything down stream from it should it be placed at the main.

Or would it be better to put whatever protection at each point of use?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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A commercial building with mostly medical equipment has been having numerous voltage spikes. They have lost or had damage to several pieces of equipment.

Would it be better to provide a surge suppressor at the panel(s) or maybe a UPS with brown out and blackout protection?

Not sure if the affected equipment is from the same panel or not. I suppose if there is a main switch board/panel it would be better to put the protection there. But a UPS would have to be huge to protect everything down stream from it should it be placed at the main.

Or would it be better to put whatever protection at each point of use?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
how did they determine that voltage spikes were the cause ?

All of what you suggested would help, but IMO it's better to let them pay for a site survey, or some engineering, in order to either determine their exact needs or possibly an educated guess to the solution, rather than a WAG based on basically nothing(?) (which could later be a big fail, rather that a win-win)
 

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Can't fix a problem when you don't know what's causing it.

A customer of ours is now on their third generator rewind because they've got incoming power spikes blowing holes through the insulation. They added a whole mess of capacitors and terminal arrestors, but without knowing what's causing they problem, they're just throwing parts at it. Needless to say, it didn't work and they're out more money than they would've been with a carefully evaluated, tailored solution.

If these problems are severe enough, putting in a UPS just means that after the next surge, they'll be replacing the UPS. Put in PQ monitors to capture the amplitude and duration of the events, then work backwards towards a cause, then worry about how to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
how did they determine that voltage spikes were the cause ?

All of what you suggested would help, but IMO it's better to let them pay for a site survey, or some engineering, in order to either determine their exact needs or possibly an educated guess to the solution, rather than a WAG based on basically nothing(?) (which could later be a big fail, rather that a win-win)
Can't fix a problem when you don't know what's causing it.

A customer of ours is now on their third generator rewind because they've got incoming power spikes blowing holes through the insulation. They added a whole mess of capacitors and terminal arrestors, but without knowing what's causing they problem, they're just throwing parts at it. Needless to say, it didn't work and they're out more money than they would've been with a carefully evaluated, tailored solution.

If these problems are severe enough, putting in a UPS just means that after the next surge, they'll be replacing the UPS. Put in PQ monitors to capture the amplitude and duration of the events, then work backwards towards a cause, then worry about how to fix it.
For full disclosure, I was just asked by some fellow electricians for some advice on this. I haven't actually been to the site to see anything.

Apparently, from what I was told, the POCO has been there and knows of the problem. But they either refuse to do anything or don't know what to do.

Also, I don't know anyone around here that does power monitoring. Are there companies that travel to do this?
 

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Also, I don't know anyone around here that does power monitoring. Are there companies that travel to do this?
Good guys

Power & Generation Testing, Inc.
United States
480 Cave Road
Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: (615) 882-9455
Fax: (615) 882-9591
 
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